18 April 2018

Ivan Anfimov

Engineer at "Rustelecom"

How Russian provider Rustelekom uses ISPsystem solutions

Each ISPsystem control panel, whether it is ISPmanager, BILLmanager, DCImanager или VMmanager, is an independent software solution. However, you can integrate all of them into one solid platform for your hosting business. Rustelekom, the company from Russia, combined our solutions with products of other vendors. Ivan Anfimov, one of Rustelekom engineers, told us about how it all works.

Rustelekom with its project robovps.biz started its story in 2010. Today, it offers SSD hosting, VPS, dedicated servers, and other services, works with both private individuals and enterprise companies, and has over 6 years of experience of using ISPsystem software.

Software and hardware

In our operations, we use VMmanager, BILLmanager, IPmanager, and DCImanager. Recently, we have added ISPmanager Lite to offer external FTP storage, although we still use cPanel for our web hosting.

We use equipment from different locations and vendors. We have our own location in Germany with racks, switches, etc. along with hardware in Singapore, Hong Kong, England, the Netherlands, even in Australia. We use different equipment, from standard pieces to something like Dell rx730xd.

How we migrated to ISPsystem

Initially, our project robobill.net used AWBS billing. Later we purchased avihost.ru which was using BILLmanager Advanced. We decided to upgrade their BILLmanager to the Corporate version and keep all our services there. For admins, this migration was pure and simple. We liked the support center that allowed to work with a lot of tickets. Also, it just used to be a real pain to work with AWBS + Kayako.

How difficult is that to use BILLmanager for newbies? It really depends. It’s not difficult to teach a new employee to use it, especially now. However, it gets more complicated when it comes to customers.

Gradually, we moved our web hosting on ISPmanager 4 Pro to our own servers; later we did the same for VDSmanager OpenVZ and VDSmanager FreeBSD, the predecessors of VMmanager. Then we migrated to SolusVM and eventually to VMmanager KVM.

In order to migrate from SolusVM to VMmanager, we were creating new virtual machines and copying data by using rsync. If a customer intended to have a bigger upgrade, we used control panels inside the machines or did it manually. I don’t recall any issues with the process back then.

Then we started to prepare a new location and installed DSmanager there, which eventually was upgraded to DCImanager. I think this is the great product, and I personally love it. Everything there is in its place, there are no operation problems with it. There are still some smaller issues but they are always resolved after a couple of updates.

I can say that the control panels from ISPsystem are the best for our needs. We have a few minor issues with BILLmanager but they will be resolved eventually. In general, everything works great.

Difference between SolusVM and VMmanager

I cannot say which one is better since they are too different. I would say that SolusVM is closer to VDSmanager which used the unified approach, meaning that the system is not developed for any specific virtualization. Something might have changed here over the recent years. I can compare VMmanager KVM and SolusVM back then, and the first one beats the second one due to the features that it has, with no complexities.

I cannot say that VMmanager KVM has features that SolusVM lacks. It’s just more “human”: everything is in the right place, easy-to-use and with the good interface. Some users might say that you can simply add a couple of options to /etc/sysctl.conf to make the network work e.g. in OVH, but VMmanager KVM can do it even without these actions.

Integration between VMmanager and BILLmanager

This is what I’ve been responsible for in our company. When we used BILLmanager 4, there were issues with its integration with IPmanager, but these issues are long gone now since we have BILLmanager 5.

Some things might be more easy-to-use, e.g. selling of operating systems. Also, I look forward to new IPmanager as there is still the problem with recipes when you provide two IP addresses.

About ISPsystem community

I am an active user of the ISPsystem forum and their feature request portal. I like to keep up with their news. I can help another user, create a new bug report, or add a new feature request — no problem here.

In some cases I created new virtual machines simply to check whether the issue I have heard about really existed. I don’t mind spending 5-10 minutes on this since it might potentially help our own customers, as it happened once with OS templates.

Ivan Anfimov

Engineer at "Rustelecom"